By Patricia Garcia
Recently I moved into a home with lots of space — a roomy kitchen opens onto the dining area and living room, while a sitting room in the front of the house gives me a nice place to entertain guests (aside from the great room). My last home was about 800 square feet — total — and was less than party-friendly. So, now that I have the space, all I want to do is have parties at my house. President’s Day party, anyone?
There’s no doubt that you feel the same way about your new home — you’re not trying to show off, but you do want to share your new house with family and friends. The Nielsen Company estimates that 9 out of 10 Super Bowl watchers will view the game at their own home or a friend’s house. So, what are you waiting for?
Super Bowl XLVIII is just around the corner, so it’s time to get ready to host the most epic Super Bowl party in your new home. Here’s how:
1. It’s All About the TV
Your home’s new layout is no doubt perfect for entertaining, with that open floor plan and spacious great room and kitchen. So, let’s move on to the TV. We’re not saying you have to have a jumbotron, but making family and friends huddle around a 32-inch TV is not the best way to experience the biggest game of the year. Consider upgrading your TV with all of the deals you’re sure to find now.
Depending on the layout of your home and the size of your TV, set up seating for optimal viewing. If there are spots of the home that make it difficult to see the TV, set up smaller sets so everyone can view the game. Or, if there will be guests who that enjoy the company more than the game, set up a quiet area where they can watch something else or enjoy a conversation about something other than football.
2. And the food. It’s about the food too.
Think snacks, snacks, snacks. Sure you may have a winning recipe for pot roast — leave that for another time. Your guests want easy, accessible food. Create a buffet of sorts with a variety of foods, from finger sandwiches and chips and dip to pretzels and popcorn to more substantial grub like hot dogs, pizza and chicken wings. Don’t underestimate the healthy stuff too – carrots, broccoli and tomatoes are all good choices for dunking into really unhealthy dips.
As for drinks, stock up on your favorite beverages and set up a do-it-yourself bar, where guests can concoct their own libations or play bartender for others. Keep plenty of ice on hand and have non-alcoholic drinks for the kiddos and for those who would rather just enjoy soda instead.
But don’t forget that as host, it’s your job to know your guests. Are your guests more of the wine set rather than beer snobs? Do you have vegetarians in the mix? Plan your menu accordingly and serve foods and drinks that your guests will appreciate and can, you know, eat or drink. By all means, serve your favorite drinks and foods, but don’t forget to consider your guests’ likes and dislikes too.
3. OK, it’s also about the atmosphere too.
This is one day that deserves to be a holiday, so make an event of it. You want your guests to feel like they’re really at a football game. You want to invoke the feeling of pregame tailgates — painted faces and all. Is it ridiculous to use some AstroTurf as your living room rug? No!
Don’t be afraid to add some ambiance to your home. Decorating your home doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Get creative — for instance, use green butcher paper and white chalk to create a football field table covering. Shop your local dollar or discount store for disposable dishes in the colors of each team. Place masking tape down the middle of your living room to create a cheering section for each team, using one team’s colors on one side and the other team’s colors on the other side. This will create a fun rivalry between guests and add to the party’s atmosphere.
And, don’t forget party games that everybody can enjoy, from hardcore fans to children and those just along for the company. Game pools, football bingo and having guests guess the winning score are a few classics.
Your new home is your special place to simply unwind from a long day, but it’s also the ideal place to enjoy specials events and informal dinners. Hosting celebrations for family and friends are just one way to get the most out of your new home.